NFC Championship: Offensive drive analysis.

Lets take a closer look at our drives against Seattle in the 2013 NFC Championship. What went well and what went wrong.

Player # & name matching list at bottom of page. This analysis performed by a novice based on film study of the game using NFL Game Rewind.

Seattle goes on offense first but a great play by SF99 Aldon Smith gives us the ball at Seattle's 15 yard line.


1st & 10 on SEA 15

Gore runs left for 2 yard gain.

QB under center Two TE set. Boldin out wide covered by SEA25 (R. Sherman). Fullback is SF24 (A. Dixon)

Kap hands off to SF21 (F. Gore) who runs left and is Tackled by SEA91

SF77 M. Iupati pulls from his RG position and runs left. He then turns the corner and runs out to block. SF89 (McDonald) whiffs on his block of MLB SEA54 which in turn compromises the block by SF85 (Davis) and allows SEA91 to break free. Also Iupati runs ahead to block a safety instead of sealing the end of the line, thus Gore is tackled by SEA91 and is unable to get to the second level of the defense. No actual hole created.

(Error: poor blocking & well defensed by Seattle)

Players on the play:
SF 74,77,75,76,7,59,89,84,21,24,81
SEA 51,79,54,92,99,91,53,29,47,31,25

2nd & 8 on SEA 13

Pass to Crabtree for 2 yard gain.

Shotgun, SF85-Vernon Davis wide right, Crabtree slot right, Boldin split left.

Crabtree runs a quick underneath crossing route to the left sideline and catches the ball in the flat. SEA54 immediately launches toward Crab when he sees that the ball is headed for him and makes an excellent tackle to prevent Crab from running out & up along the left sideline.

Richard Sherman on Vernon Davis, SEA31 cheats over toward Vernon. SF89 is open momentarily for quick pass, but pass goes to SF15 crossing underneath. Play designed to allow Kap to get rid of the ball quickly and he needed to. There was not enough time for him to wait for other receivers to get open in the end zone.

(No Error, Well defensed by Seattle, SEA54 makes outstanding tackle.)

Players on the play:
SF 74,77,59,7,75,76,11,15,81,85,21
SEA 53,29,54,79,51,92,99,91,41,25,31

3rd & 6 on SEA 11

Kap runs up the middle for 4 yard gain.

Shotgun, Patton wide right, Boldin wide left, Vernon at TE right side, Crabtree slot right, Gore next to Kap in pass protection.

Designed QB run up the middle, Kap speeds out even with Gore and doesn't utilize his blocking. If he had veered right and gotten behind Gore, he could prbably have gained more yardage. He sees SEA31 and veers left into the tackles of SEA54 & SEA59. Vernon is unable to hold his block.

(No Error, Well defensed by Seattle. Seattle's speed & strength allows them to beat our blocks regularly)

Players on the play:
SF 74,77,59,7,75,76,89,15,81,85,21
SEA 53,29,54,91,41,25,31,56,72,28,41

(NOTE the change in Seattle defensive players between 2nd & 3rd down)

4th & 2 on SEA 7

25 yard field goal GOOD by SF9 (P. Dawson) Holder is SF4 (A.Lee)

DRIVE #1 ASSESSMENT: 1st down (Poor blocking by us but well defended by Seattle), 2nd down (Well defended by Seattle), 3rd down (Kap doesn't utilize the blocking of Gore but well defended by SEA). Drive ends in 3 points.

Great Niner defense forces a 3&out and PUNT by Seattle


1st & 10 on the SF 19

Gore runs left for 1 yard gain.

shift from Shotgun into I-Formation, 3 TE 1 WR wide left

TE SF88 in Fullback position but shifts to left side and right side TE SF89 V.McDonald shifts into Fullback position. Kap under center hands off to HB SF21 F. Gore who runs left. SEA51 pushes off block by SF74 Joe Staley and tackles Gore. SF88 G. Celek is unable to seal off SEA79 to the inside and Staley doesn't get SEA51 sealed to the outside. Seattle linebackers Smith & Wagner SEA53 & 54 speed around big & slow SF77 M. Iupati and assist in stopping Gore. Blocking scheme outmuscled and outspeeded by Seattle. G. Celek no match against Monster SEA79 Red Bryant

(No error, Seattle reads the play instantly and outmuscles all our blocking efforts)

Players on the play:
SF 7,74,77,75,76,59,89,88,21,24,85
SEA 51,72,54,92,99,79,53,29,41,31,25

2nd & 9 on SF 20

short pass from Kap to SF89 V. McDonald for 13 yard gain.

Single back formation, SF15 Crabtree wide right

Kap runs left, fakes hand-off to Gore, spins back right and throws short pass to SF89 who crossed from left to right behind the line and catches the pass in right flat and then carries the ball about 10 yards before being tackled by SEA31 & 54 Chancellor & Wagner

No other receivers open on the play except Gore way over to the left side. Smart play. Seattle's defense had nobody covering VCM. SF81 Boldin does great job of hindering 2 or 3 linebackers & safeties who are now trying to cross the field and get to VCM

(No error, well executed, smart play, pass completed for 13 yards)

Players on the play:
SF 7,74,77,59,75,76,89,85,21,15,81
SEA 51,72,54,92,99,79,53,29,41,31,25

1st & 10 on SF33

QB end around run for 17 yard gain

I-formation single back, Kap under center, 2TE, 2WR left side, TE in motion right to left

SEA72 bites hard on something and gets completely out of position. SEA25 R. Sherman oggles Boldin and steers toward him before realizing that Kap is running, so he's not in a position to prevent Kap from gaining significant yards. Kap basically falls down at the 50 between SEA54 & SEA25. Good blocking from SF85 and SF21 takes down SEA31 Chancellor

SF81 wide open in the middle runs up field looking to block high safety should Kap break a long run.

(No error, excellent play)

Players on the play:
SF 7,74,77,59,75,76,89,85,21,15,81
SEA 72,99,92,79,51,54,53,29,41,31,25

1st & 10 on the 50

Gore up the middle for 1 yard loss

Shotgun SF89 V. McDonald as FB strongside. SF85 V. Davis on left/strongside, Boldin split left, Crabtree split right

Woefully executed play as SF75 Alex Boone doesn't recognize his blocking assignment and allows SEA99 McDaniel to blast through and almost blow Kap's knee out. Bobbled handoff. SF74 Staley & SF89 VCM also aren't on the same page and allow SEA79 to blow past and tackle Gore in the backfield. This was not a case of being outmuscled, just blown blocking assignments.

(ERROR: BLOWN PLAY by 49ers. Botched blocking. Bobbled hand-off)

Players on the play:
SF 7,74,77,59,75,76,89,85,21,15,81
SEA 91,99,92,79,51,53,54,29,31,41,25

2nd & 11 on the SF 49

Kap keeps and runs up the middle for 8 yard gain and slides short of the 1st down.

Initially SF23 L. James lines up behind Kap but then runs to right wideout position. SF24 A. Dixon FB lined up behind right Tackle. TE SF84 V. Davis at TE spot on right end of line. Crabtree wide left. Boldin in left slot.

Kap looks diagonal right (seemingly toward SF23 who is covered) & immediately turns to look up the middle just as Dixon turns back expecting the pass. He is wide open for a sure-fire 1st down but now Kap is seeing the protection break down & he is forced to move up in the pocket. He could've moved up and thrown to Dixon to his right but sees space in front and takes off running up the middle . Vernon Davis has a step on SEA25 as he his crossing right to left but Kap is committed to running. Dixon continues to be open for some time. Lamichael James is never open. Crabtree is open for a high sideline bullet on the left. Kap should've thrown quick to Dixon or given Dixon a second look.

(ERROR, missed read by QB, Defense was beat.)

Players on the play:
SF 7,74,77,59,75,76,24,85,23,15,81
SEA 91,99,92,79,51,53,54,29,31,41,25

3rd & 3 on the SEA 43

Shotgun. Patton wide left. Crabtree wide right. Boldin slot right.

Designed QB run to left tackle. SF85 TE on left side of line. SF74 & SF85 seal the left end and pulling guard SF75 and HB SF21 team up to block for Kap on the left side but are faced with SEA31 & SEA53 and SEA54 B. Wagner comes in unblocked to tackle Kap. A pump-fake from Kap may have paused Wagner at his spot in the middle but instead he instantly recognized Kap's intent to run and chases after him. Kap lowers his head and does not find the space between Gore and Boone. Perhaps not the best play call. Reasonably well executed but blown up by the physical fortitude of SEA53,54,31.

(No Error, Kap plays it safe and protects the ball. Large enough hole not created for him to get the 1st down.)

Players on the play:
SF 7,74,77,59,75,76,11,85,21,15,81
SEA 56,72,69,91,53,54,31,28,29,25,41

4th & 1 on SEA 41

Kap under center. TE SF89 in motion. Players aren't in correct positions and Kap directs them where to go, then sets and V. Davis does the slightest elbow wiggle and is flagged for False Start. Boldin wide left. SF48 Will Tukuafu in at FB.

(Error: Confusion about formation & False Start)

Players on the play:
SF 7,74,77,59,75,76,48,21,85,89,81
SEA 56,72,69,91,53,54,31,28,29,25,41

4th & 6 on SEA 46

PUNT. Andy Lee punts 45 yards to SEA 1. Downed at the 1 by SF14 K. Osgood

DRIVE #2 ASSESSMENT: 1st down (Error SF, missed blocks), 2nd down (Error SF, missed QB read), 3rd down(Defensive win by SEA), 4th down (Error SF, false start). Drive ends in ZERO points, forced to PUNT.




1st & 10 on SF 14

Shotgun, Crabtree wide right, Boldin wide left, Vernon right end, FB Celek & RB Gore

Crabtree matched up with Sherman and Boldin matched up with SEA41 B. Maxwell

Seattle corners do not bump. Maxwell runs tight with Boldin.

Kap makes a good timing throw behind Boldin who slightly bobbles the catch and has it knocked out by Byron Maxwell as he's going to the ground

(Error. Ball not caught securely)

2nd & 10 on SF 14

Shotgun, Crabtree wide left, Boldin slot right but motions to left side of line, FB VCM & RB Gore

Kap hands off to Gore. Boldin and VCM move to block left side. O-line gets no push. Gore bounces to the outside right but gets tackled by SEA31 & 53. 1/2 yard gain.

(No error. Well defensed by Seattle)

3rd & 9 on SF 15

Shotgun, Crabtree wide right covered by Sherman. V. Davis, Boldin & Patton on left side.

Vernon is open in the middle but not looking back at Kap soon enough.

LT Staley is beaten quickly by DE SEA91 Clemons' spin move and RT A. Davis is beaten by SEA55's speed rush. This forces Kap to react. As he is being tacked by SEA91, he flings the ball toward Crabtree who shields off Sherman with his body but can't make the catch, however Sherman is flagged for holding.

5 yards and automatic 1st down thanks to penalty on SEA25 R. Sherman

(Error, V. Davis should've looked back for the pass much sooner. Right & left tackles beaten by Seattle pass rush.)

1st & 10 on SF 20

Single back, Kap under center, Crabtree wide left, Boldin & Vernon on right side, VCM in motion to right side.

Kap hands off to Gore but Seattle defense gets penetration by SEA69 & 53 and tackle him in the backfield.

(Error: Alex Boone toasted by SEA69 Clinton McDonald (Second string RDT) Again O-line dominated by physical Seattle defense)

2nd & 10 on SF 20


SEA91 Clemons makes quick work of RT SF76-Anthony Davis and Kap is forced to step forward in the pocket in 2.5 seconds. No receivers are open, but Kap takes off running and toasts 3rd string LB SEA50 K.J. Wright who is spying him. Kap picks up 12 yards.

(Error, missed block by SF76, but great run by Kap)

1st & 10 on SF 32

Single back, Kap under center, Davis & Boldin right side, VCM in motion right to left, Crabtree? wide left.

Kap fakes hand-off to Gore, looks downfield but does not appear to look left toward our Wideout begin single-covered by SEA41 Maxwell. Protection breaks down in about 3.2 seconds so he takes off on amazing 58 yard run in which he toasts SEA69,53,54 & 25 before being chased down by SEA31 who had initially been cut down by Gore. No receivers were open. 1st down is a good time for a quick short pass but Seattle MLBs did a good job of clogging up the middle. Gore didn't turn around soon enough for a quick pass.

(Awesome individual play by Colin Kaepernick. QB run gains 58 yards)

1st & Goal on SEA 10

Single back, Kap under center, Crabtree wide left, V. Davis & Celek on right side. Celek does not go in motion as on previous play.

Same formation as the previous play but this time Kap does hand off to Gore. There seems to be good blocking but SEA53 pops into the gap and Gore decides to avoid him by veering to the left and as a result, gets tangled up in the cluster. 2 yard gain.

(Slight error, Gore should probably have bounced to the outside. Well defended by Seattle)

2nd & Goal on SEA 8

Shotgun. Single back (Gore), Crabtree wide left. Boldin slot left, Patten wide right but motions across to middle.

Ball is snapped just barely missing SF11 Patton who is in motion crossing behind the line. Patton shields the hand-off to Gore. Good blocking on the right side by SF75 A. Boone sealing to the inside. Iupati pulls from his LG position and blocks right to the outside along with our TE (whoever that was) and RG SF76 Davis provides a good down field block. Gore runs through the hole between Boone & Iupati behind block of A. Davis to the 1/2 yard line. 7 yard gain. Good blocking by O-line in general. After the play, SF74 Staley can be seen holding his right hand as if injured.

(Good play and good blocking for a change)

3rd & Goal on SEA 1/2 yard line

I-formation, Goal line offense. SF68,67 left side (Snyder, Kilgore), Vernon Davis on right end, SF48 Tukuafu at FB, SF24 Dixon at RB, No WRs

SF77 & 59 block left & right to creat a gap between them and FB Tukuafu shoots the gap to take down SEA54 MLB. Dixon jump-dives from the 3 yard line toward the endzone but is grabbed and yanked left & back by SEA79 Red Bryant.

(Good execution, Good play call, good defense by SEA79)

4th & Goal on SEA inches

I-formation. Same as last play but with SF85 on left side and SF68 & 67 on right side. SF67 goes in motion to the left side and this time SEA79 is blocked by SF85

Dixon jump-dives into the endzone for 6 points. Mike Iupati injured (broken fibula)

(Good execution, good play call, excellent key blocks by Kilgore & Staley who put their guys on the ground so that Dixon could jump over the pile.)

SF9 P. Dawson Kicks extra point

DRIVE #3 ASSESSMENT: Drive gets off to a slow start with a missed catch by Boldin and some blocking problems but Kap's stunning runs seem to take the energy of the defense down a notch and our Red-zone blocking improves quite a lot. Any drive that ends in 7 points is good one!


5:47 to go in the 2nd QTR

SF68-Adam Snyder assumes Iupati's position at LG

1st & 10 from SF 20

2 TE, 1 WR, 2 backs, Kap under center (Slot formation?)

Kap drops back to pass. He has FB SF24 Anthony Dixon wide open in the flat but ignores him. Boldin is crossing underneath right to left. Kap throws a bullet into his helmet and Boldin uncharacteristically drops another pass to start a drive.

(Error, dropped pass)

2nd & 10 from SF 20

2 WR, 1 TE, Boldin slot right, Vernon wide right but motions left, Crabtree wide left matched up with SEA41 Maxwell, SF89 (McDonald) is FB, Gore is RB

I-formation but shifts to Shotgun

Designed QB run, but VCM mostly whiffs on his block of SEA72 Bennet and Gore does not pick him up but continues toward his blocking assignment of SEA53. Play is blown up by SEA72. 2 yard loss.

SF89 is flagged for holding (penalty declined)

(Error, missed block & holding penalty)

3rd & 12 from SF 18

Shotgun, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB, Crabtree wide left, Boldin slot left, Patton wide right, V. Davis at left end. Gore right next to Kap in shotgun.

Post snap, Crabtree, Boldin & V.Davis all run straight downfield and Patton crosses underneath. Gore heads for the right sideline.

Kap has a choice between Patton & Gore but never looks at Gore. He throws behind Patton which forces him to almost stop and reach back for the pass. Because he isn't moving, he becomes easy pickings for the speedy Seattle safety Earl Thomas SEA29. Pass should've been thrown to Gore who only had one man to beat for the 1st down.

(Error: not the best QB read and an inaccurate pass)

4th & 10 from SF 20

SF4 Andy Lee punts 43 yards to SEA 37

Catcher SEA81 Golden Tate is immediately dropped by SF14 Kassim Osgood

(Excellent special teams play by Kassim Osgood)

DRIVE #4 ASSESSMENT: Errors on all three downs means that we failed more than Seattle succeeded. 3&out - forced to punt is not the formula of champions

Defense performs well to thwart Seattle and the 1st half ends with us leading Seattle 10-3


Overall critique:

We did not use any bunch formations with 3 receivers in a bunch to pick or rub Seattle DBs off. We did not test Seattle CB Byron Maxwell using Michael Crabtree. Drive #1 wasn't a real drive since we got the ball on a turnover at the Seattle 15 yard line, so we virtually couldn't help but get a field goal out of it and that's all we got. The only real scoring drive was Drive #3 early in the 2nd quarter which was largely a result of some phenomenal runs by Kap. We were plagued by poor blocking and mistakes. Some passes to Boldin that he usually catches were dropped/lost. Kap seemed to neglect throwing to Anthony Dixon or Frank Gore on some downs where that seemed to have been the best option. Drive #4 - the final drive before the end of the 1st half was a particularly poor showing on our behalf. We had some momentum from earlier in the quarter but made mistakes and failed to capitalize and diminish the confidence of the Seattle defense.

(2nd half coming later)

Player Numbers Legend:

San Francisco Offense

SF 81-Anquan Boldin WR
SF 21-Frank Gore RB
SF 24-Anthony Dixon FB
SF 74-Joe Staley LT
SF 77-Mike Iupati LG
SF 7-Colin Kaepernick QB
SF 59-Jonathan Goodwin C
SF 75-Alex Boone RG
SF 76-Anthony Davis RT
SF 85-Vernon Davis TE
SF 15-Michael Crabtree WR
SF 84-Jon Baldwin WR
SF 11-Quinton Patton WR
SF 89-Vance McDonald TE
SF 88-Garrett Celek TE
SF 23-LaMichael James RB
SF 32-Kendall Hunter RB
SF 48-Will Tukuafu FB
SF 78-Joe Looney
SF 67-Daniel Kilgore
SF 68-Adam Snyder
SF 9-Phil Dawson K
SF 4-Andy Lee P

Seattle Defense

SEA 41-Byron Maxwell CB
SEA 53-Malcolm Smith OLB
SEA 91-Chris Clemons DE
SEA 29-Earl Thomas FS
SEA 92-Brandon Mebane DT
SEA 54-Bobby Wagner MLB
SEA 99-Tony McDaniel DT
SEA 31-Kam Chancellor SS
SEA 79-Red Bryant DE
SEA 51-Bruce Irvin OLB
SEA 25-Richard Sherman CB
SEA 20-Jeremy Lane CB (2nd string)
SEA 42-Chris Maragos FS (2nd string)
SEA 35-DeShawn Shead SS (2nd string)
SEA 56-Cliff AVril RDE (2nd string)
SEA 95-Benson Mayowa DE (3rd string)
SEA 69-Clinton McDonald DT (2nd string)
SEA 97-Jordan Hill DT (2nd String)
SEA 72-Michael Bennett DE (2nd String)
SEA 93-O'Brien Schofield LB (3rd string)
SEA 55-Heath Farwell MLB (2nd String)
SEA 57-Mike Morgan LB (2nd String)
SEA 50-K.J. Wright LB (3rd String)

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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